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Hyperion Records

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Track(s) taken from CDD22053
Recording details: October 1995
All Saints' Church, East Finchley, London, United Kingdom
Produced by Martin Compton
Engineered by Tony Faulkner
Release date: May 1996
Total duration: 23 minutes 7 seconds

'I can't imagine [Susan Tomes's] playing will be surpassed in its sense of style and finesse. Much the same must be said of The Gaudier Ensemble who are little short of superb … it is all hugely enjoyable and well recorded, with very present and finely detailed sound. Recommended with enthusiasm' (Gramophone)

'Cherish this glowing collection of near-masterpieces, played with the utmost sensitivity and panache by the Gaudiers and the always wonderful Susan Tomes' (BBC Music Magazine)

'The Piano Quintet comes off marvellously and compares favourably with any performance on record, past or present … delightful performances on which it would be difficult to improve, and excellent recordings too' (The Penguin Guide to Compact Discs)

'This is very fine chamber music playing indeed. Delightful music played in exactly the right spirit' (Classic CD)

'The Gaudier Ensemble is flawless, unfailingly persuasive and play with both vigour and polish which makes this issue irresistible … it is difficult to conceive of better performances than these; each of the players … combines to the highest degree a virtuoso command of his or her instrument, a complete involvement in the score at hand, and perfect blending in ensemble. Hyperion's recording is as pure and natural as one could wish. Even the booklet is a model of what such things should be … any serious collector who has not yet encountered this music should search for this disc ASAP' (Fanfare, USA)

'Superbe' (Diapason, France)

Quartet for piano and wind in E flat major

Adagio  [3'07]
Finale: Allegro  [8'54]

Introduction  EnglishFrançaisDeutsch
The Quartet in E flat for piano and wind (clarinet, bassoon and horn) dates from 1819, when Berwald was in his mid-twenties. By this time he had already composed the 1817 Septet, two string quartets (the second of which does not survive), a set of variations for two violins, and a number of keyboard pieces which he published himself in his Journal de musique. Composed in the received idiom of the day and indebted to Hummel, Weber and Spohr, the Piano Quartet in E flat breaks no new moulds. It follows the usual formal conventions—the outer movements are in sonata form and the middle movement is in a simple lied form. At the same time there are some signs of individuality, and a lively intelligence and wit shine through. Though not a major part of the Berwald canon, it remains a worthwhile contribution to the chamber music repertoire.

from notes by Robert Layton © 1997

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